Last week the buzz word in the readings was Generosity and how Lord is willing to give us what is promised to us. This week we build on the idea but look at it from the human side. We ask How can we accept the generosity? And come up with one answer responsibility. Our readings begin with the Prophet Ezekiel, now Ezekiel was among the first to be exiled in Babylon. In the reading Ezekiel relays a message from The Lord “You all say that The Lord is not fair” then he asks “Is it my ways that are unfair or are your ways unfair?” This is a question we must take seriously even today. Then the reading continues if someone turns from virtue and dies they die because of the iniquity that they committed, however if one turns from wickedness they will not die because they have turned away from sin. Ezekiel gives us this rough game plan for how to accept the generosity of The Lord, turn from wickedness and you will not die.
Turning to the second reading we hear from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we pick up basically were we left off last week where Paul told us to conduct ourselves in a way worth of The Lord, in our reading today we are given example of how to conduct ourselves. The important part is the second half of the verse “regard others as more important than yourselves” this is something difficult to do for all of us living in the world as all to often we are looking out for ourselves. Paul tells us to be like Christ and give us a Christological Hymn “Although he was in the form of God, he emptied himself taking the form of a slave and came down to earth and humbled himself to the point of death on the cross. Because of this his name is greatly exalted and at the name of Jesus every knee must bend.”
As we reach the Gospel of Matthew we once again hear a parable. Jesus was at the temple and is talking to the chief priest and elders. He tells them a story “A man has two sons, He asks them both to go work in the vineyard for the day. One son refuses, but afterward he changes his mind and goes, the other son says sure, but doesn’t go. Jesus turns to the priests and elders and asked them who did the father’s will, they replied the first. Jesus then explains that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering into the kingdom before them as they, the tax collectors and prostitutes, heard the message of John the Baptist and listened. This should also be applied to us as well as we need to do more than just listen to the words that we hear each week we have a responsibility to bring it out into the world. At the end of Mass the Deacon or Priest may say “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord” or “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life” these are our directions at each and every mass. Let us over this upcoming week keep the instructions we hear today in mind, Turn away from sin, treat others are more important as ourselves, and listen to the word of those sent by our Heavenly Father (Saints, Priests and Bishops).